The "George Washington" Monument
Setting the cap stone on the
On Saturday, the 6th day of December
1884, the marble capstone, which completed the shaft, was cemented and set.
At its cap, or peak, it is five inches in diameter. On the cap was placed a
metal finial (tip, point, or small pyramid) of aluminum, a composition metal
which resembles polished silver, and which was selected because of its lightness
and freedom from oxidation, and because it will always remain bright. Shortly
after noon a flag floated from the giddy height, and a salute of booming cannon
by Hannaman's District Artillery was fired and screeching whistles announced the
completion of the Washington Monument. The aluminum finial was bolted onto the
As the sun's light touches the Washington's apex, the pyramid ion beacons the
true symbol of our Nation. A pure white obelisk selfless built to Honor the
Founder of Our Republic, and Praise Our Creator until the ends of time.
There are 2 windows on each of the
four sides of the observation floor. Each window provides a spectacular view
of Washington. There are photos at the base of the window that describe
what you are looking at.
On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington
Monument in Washington DC, are displayed two words:
Laus Deo. No one can see these words.
In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are
even there and for that matter, probably couldn't care less. Once you
know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this with everyone you
know. I do! But these words have been there for many years; they are
555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to
the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the
District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America.
Two seemingly insignificant, un-noticed words. Out of sight and, one
might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest
point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in
So, what do those two words, in Latin, comprised of just four syllables
and only seven letters, possibly mean?
Very simply, they say "Praise be to God!"
Praise be and Deo
Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was
President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was
inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty five years to
finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation,
be to God!"
From atop this magnificent granite and marble
structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city
with it's division into four major segments. From that vantage point,
one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles
l'Enfant...a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White
House to the north, the Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to
the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.
A cross you ask?
Why a cross?
separation of church and state?
Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the
So, read on . . .
How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for
those who notice.
Praise be to God!
Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the
steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message.
On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the
20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a
presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia
quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6.
Praise be to God!
When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th,
1848, deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented
by the Bible Society.
Praise be to God!
Such was the discipline, the moral direction, the spiritual mood given by
the founder and first President of our unique democracy ..."One Nation,
I am awed by Washington's
Prayer for America.
Have you ever read it?
Well now is your unique
opportunity, so read on!
"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the
United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of
the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to
government; and entertain a brotherly affection
and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States
"And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be
pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean
ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were
the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and
without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never
hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."
As you probably guessed, over 92 percent of Americans like the idea that our
Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase "under God." It is
clear when one studies the history of our great nation, that Washington's
America was one of the few countries in all the world established under the
guidance, direction and banner of Almighty God, to whom was given all
praise, honor and worship by the great men who formed and fashioned her
When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over
our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it
is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look. Though many try to
disprove and reason, their arguments are weak and easily proven without
basis. Their efforts will forever be in vain; God assures us of that. Have
you noticed as of late, how many more people are coming together,
affirming the fact that this nation was, from the beginning, built on God?
Any nation that is not built upon God will fail. The
truth is . . .
We have always been one nation under God!
Praise be to God!
You may forget the width and height of "Laus Deo", it', location, or the
architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget it's meaning,
or these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in
vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in
(Psalm 127: 1)
Let us remember to do our part, through prayers and sacrifice, to be the
watchmen who stand their guard. It is hoped you will send this to
every child you know; to every sister, brother, father, mother or friend.
They will not find offense, because you have given them a lesson in history
that they probably never learned in school. With that, be not ashamed, or
afraid, but have pity on those who will never see.
Paul D. Templeton
MATO, 47th FSB
"Never run from the enemy,
you'll just die tired."